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New Kensington police investigating fights at Valley High School

New Kensington police are investigating two fights that broke out at Valley High School on Wednesday, police Chief Bob Deringer said.

According to New Kensington-Arnold Superintendent Chris Sefcheck, about 10 girls got into a shouting match that escalated into a fight Wednesday in the hallway outside the cafeteria and near the auditorium.

The girls involved were friends of two girls who had been in a fight earlier that day, Sefcheck said.

Sefcheck said the second fight happened at 11:40 am

Deringer said Thursday morning that police didn’t know if there were any injuries, as they were still trying to contact all of those involved.

Sefcheck said no one was hurt, and that no weapons were reported to have been used.

Deringer said his department got involved “well after the fact, as my department was notified about it until almost five hours after it was over.”

Deringer said high school Principal Patrick Nee contacted his department’s school resource officer, Phil Huth, who was at home, by telephone about the fight around 4:30 pm

Dean of Students Joel Dolinski called Huth with more information at 8 pm

“It took a few hours to get information and facts gathered accurately to notify police with accuracy,” Sefcheck said. “The situation was diffused quickly and police were not needed at the scene.”

Physical acts of violence of the highest level within the district are reported to police, Sefcheck said.

Huth was not at the school at the time of the fights, Deringer said. When Huth is there, Deringer said, Huth handles all incidents.

“The investigation is in the very early stages,” Deringer said. “Once the investigation is complete, we will file all applicable charges.”

Deringer said his department knows of only the two fights that happened on Wednesday.

Sefcheck said the students involved in the fights are in eighth to 10th grades. The school houses seventh through 12th grades.

Sefcheck said he didn’t know what prompted the earlier morning fight.

“We’ve heard several different things,” he said.

Sefcheck said all of the students involved have been suspended. How long those suspensions will last has not been determined, and if any face expulsion depends on the findings of an investigation, he said.

Sefcheck said school security, which is spread out, responded quickly and had the fight under control within a couple of minutes.

“They responded very well,” he said. “They did a professional job.”

Deringer asked for anyone with video of the afternoon fight to email it to the school resource officer at 24@nkpd.org. All persons who submit videos will remain anonymous.

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